Navy is working with a team of engineers led by a fire fighting expert at Deakin University to provide next generation simulation tools to train officers and sailors.
The 'FLAIM Trainer' is a multi-component system, that will bring more realism to damage control exercises and allows Navy to conduct training in scenarios that would have been impossible in the past.
Commander Graeme Bacon was part of the initial trials.
“The potential to boost our training capabilities with this revolutionary system is enormous,” Commander Bacon said.
“A big push for the future will be to get Sea Training Group to take FLAIM Trainer to sea, so Navy members get the chance to practice with a greater level of realism in their ships.”
The head-mounted display allows the wearer to see smoke, fire and the water stream from the hose all overlaid across their field of view.
The hose is pressurised with air and attached to an inertia reel so that the experience of dragging a charged hose with jet reaction forces and other hose controls, are more realistic to improve training scenarios.
Vests worn with fire-fighting clothing allows the wearer to ‘feel’ the fire, the temperature going up and down and moving around the body as they change position relative to the source to simulate radiant heat.
The sponsor of the next stage of development, Commander Daniel Crocker sees many benefits to immersive training and augmented reality training systems like this; especially for situations that would be too dangerous to exercise in real life.
“Instructors will be able to select a location in a ship, develop or choose a pre-defined scenario with a predefined incident and fire types, specify exactly where the fire is located, adjust the intensity and duration of the scenario and perform a detailed post event analysis,” Commander Crocker said.
“For example, we can simulate a fire in a helicopter and people can fight it on the flight deck of their ship, safely and with great immersion, because they can see and hear it all through the headsets.”
Another potential benefit of the program is that seagoing Army and Air Force members can develop their skills without having to attend courses at the traditional fire grounds, streamlining training while maintaining the build up of knowledge and experience they need as part of a ship's company.